Classy Selma team should keep its head up

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Wednesday, I traveled from Selma to Dothan to cover the Dixie Boys State Championship game between Selma and Enterprise. Selma entered the day needing only one win to claim the championship, but things didn’t go its way.

Enterprise won both games by large margins, although neither game was truly a blowout.

That’s baseball. Sometimes, it’s just not your day.

But even when things aren’t going well, you’ve got to keep your poise. That’s something the Selma baseball team did extremely well this week. The team rallied for two come-from-behind victories and even won their first game against Enterprise, which has now won the last two state championships.

The team made the city of Selma proud.

While covering Wednesday’s games from the media box in the outfield, I was talking to a group of men from Dothan, who were sitting on the other side of the fence. Throughout both games, they talked about how classy the Selma players were throughout the tournament.

As it turns out, they were coaches and parents from the Dothan team Selma had defeated earlier in the tournament. Even when Selma got down, they talked about how resilient the team had been throughout the tournament and how nobody should count them out yet.

During one of the heat timeouts, I watched several people go over and talk to Lebo Jones, Selma’s interim parks and recreation director, about how much they enjoyed watching the Selma team play.

It’s the kind of praise that should make the parents and coaches of those kids extremely proud.

Following both games, Selma was awarded the Sportsmanship Award, which goes to the team that shows high class and character throughout the tournament.

It doesn’t sound like much of a consolation prize, but it’s not something to scoff at. The award speaks to how well-behaved the Selma players were, even in their moment of defeat. It’s never easy to get that close to accomplishing something only to have it pulled out from underneath you at the last second. Enterprise played tremendous baseball Wednesday and won the tournament fair and square.

Selma played well too, but didn’t have quite as much life in its bats Wednesday as it did in previous days.

Maybe next year many players on that Selma team will come back and win the Dixie Majors State Tournament, but even if they never play another game of baseball, they should hold their heads high.

They made their city proud and kept their poise after nearly a week on the road. Throwing a fastball or hitting a curveball takes talent, but unless you’re a major league player, they won’t help you move forward in life.  Knowing how to handle a loss, holding your head up and being classy are traits that can help the Selma players in any future endeavor.